Last weekend, Austin Dillon and the No. 3 team had the fifth-fastest qualifying time at the Auto Club Speedway, and ultimately finished 10th in the Auto Club 400. “It was a pretty solid day, and I’m proud of everyone on this No. 3 Dow Coatings team for helping us rebound to get a top-10 finish,” Dillon said. “We struggled throughout the race, truthfully. I thought we were way closer in practice on Saturday, and it just didn’t work out. At the start of the race, we were plowing. Then, we freed-up way too much. Our balance was decent at the end, but weren’t far enough up front to really do anything. I think we were a top-five car at the end, but we waited too late to get there. I’m just proud of everyone on this team for working so hard today.”
To qualify in the fifth position and ultimately finish within the top 10 despite having struggles throughout the race should bode well for Austin and the No. 3 team heading into the STP 500 this weekend.
The first American Ethanol paint out of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is this weekend at Martinsville Speedway for the STP 500! The American Ethanol paint scheme and fire suit have been refreshed with a new look that we can’t wait to debut at Martinsville. With an iconic Daytona 500 victory and another top 10 finish already under his belt early in the 2018 season, Austin has gotten off to a great start. The American Ethanol team is looking forward to seeing what the No. 3 team can accomplish this Sunday in Martinsville.
Different race track configurations call for different strategies for a driver and his crew. At only .526 miles in circumference, Martinsville Speedway is considered a “short track.” Austin talked about his short track strategy in advance of this weekend’s race:
“Short tracks are that they are. You have to work hard and use a lot of brake pressure throughout the race. It’s more draining physically rather than mentally at a short track. I love short track racing. We all grew up short track racing with tight quarters and moving people around and just fighting hard for every position you can gain.”
The STP 500 will be televised live Sunday, March 25 at 2 p.m. Eastern time on FOX Sports 1. It will also be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The American Ethanol team is excited to be joined in Martinsville by Growth Energy members and ethanol industry representatives, as well as a group of instructors from the Universal Technical Institute. The Universal Technical Institute was founded in 1965, and is a nationwide provider of technical education training for students seeking careers in the automotive space. As of 2016, the Universal Technical Institute had more than 10,000 students nationwide.
We will be hosting a group of instructors from the North Carolina campus of the technical institute, who will participate in a biofuels engine performance workshop with ECR Engines’ Dr. Andy Randolph. The group will also get the chance to tour the pit area and Cup Series garage, meet Austin Dillon and Richard Childress, and watch the race from the American Ethanol suite.
One of the main goals of the American Ethanol program is to educate automotive thought leaders on the benefits of ethanol so that they feel comfortable endorsing the fuel to their customers and colleagues. This group of instructors will train the next crop of auto mechanics and technicians, and will shape their views on a variety of engine performance issues. Our aim is to have Dr. Randolph give this group a look at why ethanol is smart choice for engines, and why higher blends offer a bright future for engine performance.